“Halloween Apples!” is what I remember singing at the doors on Halloween night when I was a child. No one said “Trick or Treat” and you never used the doorbell. You just sang it louder until they answered.
I now know that this custom was local to my home city of Edmonton and certain other areas in Canada.
Back then our bags had lots of apples in them! Also, there were healthy things like mandarin oranges, popcorn, packages of nuts and homemade treats too. I especially liked the homemade cookies, popcorn balls and caramel apples.
Why don‘t we give out apples or healthy Halloween food anymore?
- Most people do not feel it is safe or cool.
- Commercial interest in high profit candy and candy confections.
Why we think healthy Halloween foods are not safe:
This is because of a urban legends about razor blades in apples and poison in homemade treats.
Sociologist and criminologist Dr Joel Best, at the University of Delaware, has researched every reported case of so-called “Halloween sadism” in the past 45 years, and has found that not one of them is true.
Big companies make lots of money selling candy
- One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
- Americans will buy more than 600 million pounds of candy this year for Halloween according to the National Confectioners Association. That adds up to $2.4 billion spent on candy for this event!
- Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
Why I do not give out Candy
A full ONE-THIRD of all children and adolescents are overweight or obese and this percentage is growing rapidly.
EVERY major health organization and government in the world is alarmed by this trend. Inactivity and overconsumption of junk foods, sugary foods and drinks are to blame. Related Reading: Childhood Obesity: Scary and Sad.
Give Children Real Treats Instead of the Usual Sugary Path to Diabetes and Obesity!
I am passionate about reducing sugar consumption in this world. Read my “7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings“. I never give out anything with sugar in it at Halloween as I simply do not see it as a “treat” for children.
I invite you to join me in this endeavor to increase the wellness of children by not giving them candy filled with chemicals in the form of color and artificial flavoring and, of course, sugar.
Here are 16 great ideas to fill the baskets of trick-or-treaters:
1. Fruit juice boxes
2. Small packages of raisins if you can find them
3. Fruit leathers
4. Small packages of potato chips (check label to be sure it has only potato, oil and salt). The salt will balance the sugar to some degree.
5. Packages of stickers; give one page out at a time
6. Hair bands for the girls
7. Little rubber balls
8. Halloween stickers, coloring books, puzzle books, pencils, erasers, note pads
10. Trading cards
11. Colored pens for the older children
12. Colored pencils and erasers
13. Little notebooks
14. Party favors like whistles and hats
15. Key chains (of cartoon characters, etc.)
16. Mini blowing bubbles.Buy sets of 100 packaged for weddings.
How Do Children React to These Treats?
- Many of the girls want to put the hair bands thing on right away. Sometimes their costume won’t let them but they try!
- Most of the children are excited to choose what they would like.
- I hear them running to their parents yelling out what they just got.
The only ones who are disappointed are the older teenagers but I consider trick-or-treating to be for the younger ones.
For those of you having a Halloween party for your children here a few healthy sweet recipes:
- Hermit Cookies: Yummy cookies filled with nuts and dried fruit
- Apple Cake: Gluten-free, sweetened with healthy apples, the red powerfood.
- Date Squares: Wheat-free, filled with healthy oatmeal.
Learn how to make Healthy Gluten Free Baking. It doesn’t have the sugars and starches most gluten free baking does.
Join my course The Healthy Chocolate Project. Yes it’s true! It really is healthy!